The Latest: Army begins review of Dakota Access easement

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the proposed four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

A spokesman says the U.S. Army has begun its review of an easement that is necessary to complete the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost says the Army is following the steps outlined in President Donald Trump’s order earlier this month for a fast review of requests to approve the pipeline.

Frost cautions that the steps don’t mean the easement has been approved.

The easement is necessary for the pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners, to complete the last unfinished section of the pipeline under North Dakota’s Lake Oahe (oh-AH’-hee).

The pipeline has been the target of months of protests from the Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation lies near the route, and thousands of supporters from around the country who argue it’s a threat to water supply.

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12:15 p.m.

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven says the Acting Secretary of the Army has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with an easement necessary to complete the Dakota Access pipeline.

Hoeven issued a statement Tuesday after he says Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer informed him of the decision. Hoeven spokesman Don Canton added the easement “isn’t quite issued yet, but they plan to approve it” within days.

Construction of the $3.8 billion project is finished except for a section under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The pipeline has been the target of protests for months.

After Hoeven’s statement, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault renewed the tribe’s vow to go to court if the easement is granted.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

This post originally appeared on Townhall

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